The Red-tailed Hawk lovefest continued in Prospect Park this afternoon with both pairs frequently vocalizing and displaying. Near the Nethermead Meadow a Merlin briefly interrupted one pair by aggressively diving at the much larger raptors. It's possible that the falcon was just protecting her hunting area. As I watched her from Center Drive it appeared that she was hunting back and forth along the edge of Quaker Ridge where there was much passerine activity between the road and bridle path.
At the Breeze Hill feeder a "gang" of Red-winged Blackbirds were monopolizing the single feeder. All of the smaller birds were intimidated by them as they would only move out of the way for the Blue Jays. Thankfully they are messy eaters and spilled plenty of seed to the ground for the other birds. When a Pine Warbler showed up at the feeder I was surprised by the tiny bird's courage as he tried to squeeze in between the blackbirds. He was ultimately unsuccessful and ended up feeding on the ground below the feeder with the juncos, white-throats, fox sparrows, cardinals and a single chipping sparrow.
Feeding in the leaf litter along the slope of Breeze Hill behind the skating rink were four Rusty Blackbirds within a flock of White-throated Sparrows.
Also, I've noted in my day list that I spotted a single crow today. I'm not sure what their abundance is like in other city parks but I find it a little disturbing that the ubiquitous flocks of the past seem to have practically disappeared from Prospect Park.
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Prospect Park, 1/19/2004
Canada Goose (15, flying over Long Meadow.)
Red-tailed Hawk (5, 4 adults & 1 immature.)
Merlin (Nethermead Meadow.)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (6.)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2, Breeze Hill & Quaker Cemetery.)
Hairy Woodpecker (2, Rick's Pl.)
American Crow (1.)
Black-capped Chickadee (4, Rick's Pl.)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (2, Breeze Hill feeder.)
White-breasted Nuthatch (1, Breeze Hill feeder.)
Hermit Thrush (Lullwater.)
Pine Warbler (Breeze Hill feeder.)
Chipping Sparrow (Breeze Hill feeder.)
Fox Sparrow (approx. 20; Vale, Quaker Ridge, Breeze Hill feeder.)
White-throated Sparrow (Abundant.)
Rusty Blackbird (4, Breeze Hill slope behind skating rink.)
Purple Finch (3, Vale of Cashmere.)
House Finch (8, Vale of Cashmere.)
Other resident species seen (or heard):
Herring Gull, Rock Dove, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, European Starling, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow
Monday, January 19, 2004